Gas Gave Israel Geopolitical Leverage. That Changes Everything
The Mediterranean is about to become an even bigger fossil fuels minefield in the coming weeks as Israel has ratified the underwater pipeline project that will bring its game-changing natural gas to Europe. This means the controversial pipeline--the one that could shut Turkey out of the European gas game--will now go through, barring any major incidents along the way. Greece and Cyprus had already ratified the project. The implications are that Israel will certainly become a net exporter, and for the first time in history it is a major energy player, which completely changes the geopolitical dynamics of the region and beyond. (It will also change again when the low-carbon bug truly takes over the industry, and when renewable energy rather than oil is what turns into geopolitical leverage--but we’re not there, yet).
We saw the first signs of this changing dynamic when Israel struck a deal to supply gas to Jordan--a tough pill for Jordan to swallow and one that has led to major protests and culminated in a January draft law banning Israeli gas imports only days after they started.
But the deal went through anyway because it’s a lifeline for Jordan, even if it is a very difficult move to buy gas from your enemy. There may be a quid pro quo, however, that allows Jordan to save face: Israel is now considering a deal to buy solar energy from Jordan. And thus, two enemies in a…